How Playing Poker Improved My Mind

Poker never gave me what I wanted. Not what I wanted at first, that is.

My goal, when I first began to play poker, was money. Of course it was money. I wanted to get so good at poker I could win game after game and gamble some weight into my bank account.

I’ve won money, of course. I’ve lost money, too. In the end, it’s more or less evened out, and I never achieved that colossal bonus that used to spur me on. Instead, I’ve found a new benefit to poker, and I’ll never stop playing.

Poker has made me smarter.

Would IQ tests agree? I don’t know. Would my boss agree? Probably not, but that’s just because I prefer to work in moderation. (Insert pre-recorded laugh here.) But I believe my mind is sharper, and, if nothing else, my daily life feels different. Playing poker has changed my mind and enhanced my brain. There are a few key poker traits that I believe are responsible for my new development:

  • Poker relies on math and logic.
  • Poker relies on lessons learned.
  • Poker relies on discipline.

I’ll explain how I learned each of these lessons, and why they’ve benefited my every day.

When I first started playing poker, I was lazy but gutsy, and just wanted to win. I got started with poker online to practice. I used a Golden Nugget Online Casino bonus code, which I still think is one of the better decisions I’ve made. I still play poker online, but I now play in person as well, and those online games helped me hone my skills.

In poker, you have to pay attention. You have to be disciplined. There’s no spacing out in a poker game, and you have to do math in your head as you play. You have to pay attention to what cards have been played and make educated guesses on what every player is holding. Will a gut sense get you through it? No. You have to rely on logic.

When you make a mistake in poker, the evidence of your mistake smacks you in the face a few minutes later. In ordinary life, we have to wait days, weeks, or months to learn if a decision was a mistake. In poker, you learn right away.If you let poker teach you, it will.

After getting pretty decent at poker, I now approach life differently. When faced with a decision at work, I no longer hem and haw and consider my worries. Instead, I collect data with the rapid-fire surety that I do around the poker table, and I apply it. I make logic the base of my decisions.

I’m better at doing math in my head. I now have the patience to sit and wait without growing restless. Poker has changed the way I live my life.

Not to mention, I’ve got a good poker face.

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